It’s an unfortunate fact that bad news gets the most airtime. Because of this, when something bad happens in another country, TV news often leaves you with a skewed perspective of the place, turning regional problems into national ones. For example, watching news coverage of the drug violence in Mexico, you could be forgiven for thinking that the entire country is going up in flames. But in reality, the violence is in most cases restricted to specific regions.
The same is true for coverage of Japan. While some areas were definitely devastated by the earthquake and the accompanying tsunami, the rest of the country is open for business. But on the news, all you see is the devastation.
In fact, a group of Japanese resorts is so distressed by the way the country has been portrayed, they are holding a contest to find a travel blogger who is willing to tell the other side of the story (via Jaunted). As the group writes on its Travel Volunteer website,
“Japan as a country was NOT entirely destroyed or irradiated. All other places outside the evacuation zone are totally safe. But the media never mentioned it or that life goes on normally in many parts of Japan. This had severe consequences for many businesses in the travel & tourism industry, so we decided to create this project to promote Japan amongst the world’s travelers and show that it still is a safe & wonderful country to visit.”
The winning travel volunteer gets an all-expenses paid trip to Japan, where he or she will spend 100 days visiting all 47 Japanese prefectures and blogging about his or her experiences. If you’re selected, you can even bring a friend, so long as your friend is also willing to fill out an application form and pay the $5 application fee.
To enter the contest, you’ll need to apply before the end of the month. The judges will look at all the entries, and on September the 12th, 5 finalists (either single contestants or couples who applied jointly) will meet with the group in Japan so that a winner can be selected.
On the off chance that you’re one of the finalists, make sure you turn your passport application in with enough time to get it processed. The contest website notes that “You need a Passport valid for at least 6 months after end of travel date and a travel insurance…Since the travel date is on the 12th of September 2011, you should apply ONLY if you are sure to have a valid passport and in case needed, a visa for Japan by this date.”
Remember, if you submit your passport application with regular processing, it will take about six weeks for your new passport to come back to you. If you request expedited processing for an additional $60, you’ll still end up waiting three weeks.
If you need faster service, RushMyPassport can help. We’ll walk you through the application paperwork and hand-deliver it to the Department of State for processing in as little as 24 hours, with no need to wait in line or travel to a passport office.
Need your passport application processed ASAP? Give us a call or order online today!